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SMJHL S52 Draft Need Evaluations
(This post was last modified: 01-17-2020, 12:15 AM by Paq.)

Evaluation of SMJHL Team Needs in S52 Draft

Background & Data Collection
Hello me again. Time to throw more charts at you. I wanted to take a look at where each of the SMJHL teams stood in terms of current and potential team needs. So I collected data on position, season, and TPE from each team's roster sub-forum to try to get a good sense of what each team's strengths and weaknesses are. This is going to be more of a high level thing than a deep-dive, however. For example, a team could have four outstanding centers and four poor ones (extreme example, I know) and find themselves with a relatively low TPE average for the C position. This isn't something I adjusted for. Just looking at raw counts and averages. Again, I believe this is eligible for 2x media. Big payout please.

GitHub Repository

Anaheim Outlaws
[Image: Outlaws2.png]

[Image: Anaheim_positional.png]

Just looking at this it seems readily apparent what the two positions that Anaheim won't need to look at are - center and defense. At those two positions their average TPE is over 350, which I believe is the SMJHL cap for applied TPE. And that's with five of each position currently on their roster. At goalie and the two winger positions, however, they appear to be quite a bit worse off. Their left wings are quite solid, but they have just two. At right wing they have more depth, but a slight dip in quality. Still, a TPE average in the mid-high 200's probably isn't anything to panic about. It's goalie that has me concerned. A quick peek at their roster would seem to remedy that concern, however, as their current starter, Strom Chamberlain, is one of the strongest prospects in the current SHL class and should hold things down for Anaheim for quite some time. Okay, so we seem to have a pretty solid roster across the board, though it lacks high end wings and wing depth. Something to keep in mind.

Are they at risk of losing any of their top players currently? Using 600 TPE as a rough benchmark for a player at high risk of being called up, let's check out Anaheim's positional breakdown.

[Image: Anaheim_callup.png]

It looks like most of Anaheim's roster is likely to be safe from being raided by the SHL clubs that own their players' rights. The at-risk player here is center Ivan Maximus, who currently sits at 667 TPE. Losing him would certainly hurt their average C TPE, but a pair of S52 options to go with a couple of solid veterans will leave Anaheim in fine position if Maximus receives the call.

Draft Needs: LW, RW
Focus: Depth

Anchorage Armada
[Image: Anchorage.png]

[Image: Anchorage_positional.png]

At a quick glance, the reigning champs are a team with quite a few high-end options on their roster, but seem to have a glaring lack of depth in some areas. They average over 300 TPE at each of C, D, G, and RW. With that in mind, they have just twelve skaters on their current roster, not even enough to fill three full lines. On the plus side, most of their roster created in S50 or later, meaning they should continue to develop and be able to round out that weakness of depth knowing they have strong first and second line options. Now the problem area. Left wing. I am not sure how interchangeable wingers are in this sim. I vaguely remember positions being pretty flexible from my time before recreating, but I can't say for sure. None the less, the Armada lack strong, natural left wingers. Their two rostered options are both from S52, meaning they may be able to grow out of the TPE weakness with time.

Already a thin team, the Armada would be hurt worse than most by call-ups. Are they at risk of losing any of their top players?

[Image: Anchorage_callup.png]

This is bad news for an Armada team that lacks depth at the skater positions. They have two players here considered to be at risk of being called-up. Should they lose either, they'd find themselves really leaning on those top two lines more than they might want to. Defenseman Augustus Wang and center Daniel Bischoff are the two players who have eclipsed the 600 mark for Anchorage. Anchorage's high TPE roster seems to be high risk, high reward heading into S53. They'll likely need to turn their eye to the future even if they can hold onto their current roster as many of their players might be going pro sooner rather than later.

Draft Needs: Skaters
Focus: Depth, Potential

Carolina Kraken
[Image: SMJHL-Kraken.png]

[Image: Carolina_positional.png]

The Kraken appear to be another team with a strong stable of defensemen and centers. They have quality depth and a TPE average in the mid-300's for each spot. With that being said, they could still use some depth at the back as they could only fill two lines defensively at the moment. The strongest area on their team might be the one that each of the previous two teams seemed fairly weak at - left wing. The Kraken boast not only four left wingers, but an average TPE of roughly 500 across them. They have only two right wings, though they appear to be of fairly high quality. Goalie might be the only concern here, and only because Carolina do not have a backup keeper to compliment Mike Hroch from S51. Hroch is approaching what I believe to be the cap for applied TPE and should allow Carolina the freedom to simply find depth in goal rather than immediate assistance.

My initial assumption is that a team with this much depth and quality of player is likely to find themselves at risk of losing some of that talent. Does the data back that up?

[Image: Carolina_callup.png]

A resounding no, it would appear. Alexei Rykov, the lone Kraken to eclipse 600 TPE, may not be long for the juniors, but Carolina have plenty of others who might be. It's difficult to say exactly where Carolina will go given all of this information. This seems like a team with a couple spots they may need to sort out, but ultimately one that can probably afford to start out the draft with a best player available mentality.

Draft Needs: RW, D, G
Focus: Depth

Colorado Raptors
[Image: Colorado.png]

[Image: Colorado_positional.png]

On to Colorado, now. The Raptors have four centers on their roster, with an average TPE of nearly 500. Defense seems to be a fairly strong spot for them as well, with an average TPE a little lower than center (low 300's) but solid depth, with six defensemen on the roster. The Raptors weakest position here would appear to be goalie, despite having three on their team. Two of those keepers are below 200 TPE. Their starter, Samat Beibitzhanov, however, is a strong prospect in the S52 SHL class, meaning they won't need immediate help there. That leaves us with the two wing positions, where Colorado have just five total players. Their left wings are quite strong, with the right side lagging behind a bit at an average TPE below 300. Looking at their roster, those TPE totals are buoyed by a couple of particularly strong players. That means losing any of those players would leave the Raptors with some immediate needs at the wing positions.

Are they actually in risk of losing anyone, however?

[Image: Colorado_callup.png]

So we have a center and a wing potentially being called up. That would leave the Raptors with less flexibility in terms of using their centers to fill any wing spots, and even less ability to fill even their top two lines. They seem to be the first team we've looked at so far with some potential immediate needs on either of their top lines. Should they dodge the call-up boogeyman, they will still need to have an eye on their future in this draft.

Draft Needs: LW, RW, G
Focus: Top Lines (LW/RW), Depth (G)

Detroit Falcons
[Image: Falcons-Banner.png]

[Image: Detroit_positional.png]

The Falcons are a pretty curious case relative to most of their juniors level competition. They have relatively low average TPE levels across the board, but their depth is considerably stronger than most other teams. The composition of their roster seems to explain this, with a strong corps of S50 and later creates. They have six from S52, five from S51, and six from S50. Not all of those players seem to still be active, but having 17 players from those three classes leaves Detroit with plenty of room for improvement. Looking at their roster in terms of TPE, it seems as if center and defense are their two weaknesses, despite the depth. Their average TPE at each of those positions is roughly 200. Between C, LW, and RW they have 15 players, however, giving them the ability to easily fill four full lines at those positions, with room to spare. Looking at goalie, it appears they have some youth there, though neither player seems to be earning at a particularly high rate, so they could still look for someone there.

Does this young roster have any potential holes opening up that could put a dent in their depth?

[Image: Detroit_callup.png]

Nope. Detroit's depth is here to stay. Not really much to breakdown about this given that we already looked at TPE by position.

Draft Needs: C, D
Focus: Potential

Halifax Raiders
[Image: Raiders-banner.png]

[Image: Halifax_positional.png]

Halifax is another interesting case. They seem to be structured fairly similarly to Detroit, with quite a bit of depth at some positions, but no positions with a high end TPE average. That being said, they seem to be a bit further along than the Falcons, with an average TPE close to or above 300 at four of five positions. Center jumps out as a potential need, with just three on the roster and an average TPE in the high 200's. They seem fairly well of at the two wing spots, with seven combined players and a solid average TPE between them. They are quite well off at goalie, with a very solid 347 TPE keeper from S48, and an up-and-coming S52 goalie in Olli Saarinen. That really only leaves defense where, despite having eight on the roster, they have a relatively low average quality. Looking at their roster a little closer, five of those eight are S52 defensemen, four of whom, have earned less than 200 TPE each. They have a couple of high end defensemen, but not much behind them.

Any call-ups would likely rob Halifax of a good bit of their strength. But will are they at risk of losing anyone?

[Image: Halifax_callup.png]

It does not appear so. They have a handful of active players who are approaching 500 TPE, but none over the 600 mark. Losing any of these players would leave Halifax weaker on their top lines, but they would still have a pretty solid depth across the board, meaning they can likely focus on potential in most cases.

Draft Needs: LW, RW, D
Focus: Depth (LW/RW), Potential (D)

Kelowna Knights
[Image: SMJHL-Knights2.png]

[Image: Kelowna_positional.png]

This might be one of the strongest rosters in the SMJHL, with all four of five positions averaging over 300 TPE and the lone straggler being just beneath that mark. They have twelve combined wings and centers currently, giving them plenty of ability to fill all four lines with those positions. Individually, right wing might be their weakest position, but even then they are not in bad shape there by any means. Their two goalies average just about 350 TPE, one of them being from the S51 class. Even if they lose their top keeper sometime in the future, they have Cillian Kavanagh from S52 ready to take the reins. Defense may be their lone area of weakness, where they have six on their roster and an average TPE below 300. Looking a little bit closer at their roster, however, four of their defensemen are from the most recent two classes, meaning Kelowna's top two lines should be very strong for a good bit of time.

If this roster holds up through call-ups, Kelowna could be a very strong contender for the cup. Will it hold up, though?

[Image: Kelowna_callup.png]

It seems as if the Knights are in very good shape. They have just one player past the 600 TPE benchmark in center Ryan Shepard. They have quite a few in the 400-600 TPE range, however, so this roster might not be quite as safe as it appears here. Still, the Knights have a strong group of players from the past few classes who ought to be safe, so they can probably focus on going with the best available option in order to find players who will be able to fill gaps as some of their strongest options are called up.

Draft Needs: None
Focus: Potential

Newfoundland Berserkers
[Image: SMJHL-Berserkers.png]

[Image: Newfoundland_positional.png]

This is a team that, on paper, appears to be very, very strong. The newly rebranded Berserkers are coming off a season in which they had the four seed in the playoffs but got ousted by a strong Kelowna Knights team. It's easy to see why this team was quite good last season. They are have top of the line players at center, defense, and goalie, which average in the high 300s, mid 500s, and low 600s, respectively. This will be important as we examine their potential call-ups, but for now let's look at the roster as constructed. Their center position is quite strong, with six players and a high TPE average. Their wing spots are not quite so good, with a combined seven players and average TPE below 300. They lack depth at defense and goalie, despite their high end players. Ultimately this is a team where it'll be hard to determine their draft needs without knowing who is being called up.

So let's take a look. Is the Newfoundland roster going to be raided?

[Image: Newfoundland_callup.png]

With four players having crossed the 600 TPE threshold, the Berserkers are one of the teams at the greatest risk of being damaged by call-ups. With two of their four defensemen and a goalie potentially being called up, the Berserkers will likely be putting a focus on the back end of their roster. Even if they don't lose those players, they are likely to soon and will probably want to adjust.

Draft Needs: RW, D, G
Focus: Top Lines, Depth

St. Louis Scarecrows
[Image: Scarecrows-Banner.png]

[Image: StLouis_positional.png]

The Scarecrows roster is fairly interesting. They are quit weak at center with little depth and a low TPE average. If you account for their seven wings, each position averaging 400 TPE or above, their situation seams a bit stronger. This leaves them with nine combined options at the three offensive positions, and plenty of quality between them. That still leaves them needing a good bit of depth, however. At defense they have strong depth, with eight defensemen on their roster, but the overall quality is quite low, just breaking the 200 TPE mark. They seem to have tried remedying this weakness in the past few drafts but have been unsuccessful, with just two of their eight defensemen breaking 300 TPE individually. They are quite strong in the net, however, with a 476 TPE option from S51 in Elizabeth Doyle, and a solid backup option from S49 at 253 TPE. If their roster stays together as currently constructed, it really seems like the Scarecrows will just need to tighten up their secondary lines on defense to have a strong shot in the playoffs this season.

Will that roster hold up, however? Or will it be dismantled by SHL clubs looking to fill out their own rosters?

[Image: StLouis_callup.png]

The Scarecrows have just one player above 600 TPE, LW Aron Hernadivic. Already light on depth at the wings, the Scarecrows would certainly prefer to keep Hernadivic. Luckily for them, most of their other positions seem to be fairly stable. It seems like in any event they'll need to find some defensemen who can contribute immediately.

Draft Needs: C, LW, RW, D
Focus: Depth (C/LW/RW), Top Lines (D)

Vancouver Whalers
[Image: Vancouver.png]

[Image: Vancouver_positional.png]

We've reached the last team in the SMJHL, the Vancouver Whalers. Vancouver appear to be another strong roster and will be looking to build on their success in last season's playoffs, where they upset the #1 seed Carolina Kraken before falling to the eventual champions. Center may actually be their weakest position, with just two players and an average TPE in the mid-high 200's. They compensate for that with strong depth and quality at the wing positions, however. They have four players at each of left wing and right wing, with both averaging more than 300 TPE. Looking at their defensemen, they should find themselves with plenty of depth and quality there. Six on the roster and an average TPE over 300 should allow the Whalers to focus their draft attention on other needs. Goalie is an interesting one for them. They appear quite strong, but it's largely because of starter White Goodman. Their backup option is an S52 draftee who has not yet earned any TPE.

Goalie would be a particularly poor spot for the Whalers to lose a player to call-ups, but that doesn't appear to be a threat. Are there any other positions that might represent issues?

[Image: Vancouver_callup.png]

Indeed there might be. The Whalers have a player at each of the wings with more than 600 TPE - Raquel Castillo Gutierrez and Jean-Paul Boivin. Losing either or both would put their depth at risk, meaning they will likely need to have an eye on the future or on replacing those two losses. They also may be at risk of losing their top goalie in a season or two, so they might be wise to find a replacement option there.

Draft Needs: C, LW, RW, G
Focus: Potential (C/LW/RW), Depth (G)


3530 Words

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Holy... This is incredible. Just checked out the GitHub, and I can't wait to see the rest of the writing.

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I think I just nerd gasm’d a bit

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I love the analysis and the data! Thank you!

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Love this! Can’t wait to see the rest of the teams

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Sig credits to @Carpy48 and @Nokazoa


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S50 Challenge Cup Finals Game 7
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Knights General Manager Kelowna Knights Knights

This is awesome data, great job! Can't wait for the rest!

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Dude, thanks for linking the Github Repository. It's cool to look at that stuff.

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This is really cool and I understand better why some GM's have ignored me haha

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 Sweden Raptors pride  
 Thanks @Wasty for the sig!

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